“I was the bus driver on the original Magic Bus,” he said brashly. “It stopped in India on the way to Kathmandu. Let me tell you, this place wasn’t always like this. There were no foreigners, no shops, no hotels. Lived on bananas, bread and peanut brittle for a month we did.” His tone was almost aggressive.
“You must have witnessed a lot of change here,” I said, and tried not to sound patronising.
He ranted on, telling us angrily, “If I see something… a problem… I fix it! You take my meaning? I fix it!” He showed us a tube of mange treatment he carried around with him, and insisted that it was only Goa’s animals that needed help. “All these women begging on the street, with the babies in their arms – it’s all a scam I’m telling you,” he announced, irritated.
“They asks you for money for milk, you buy them the milk at the tourist price, and they goes back to the shop and gets the money back.”
“What do they use the money for then?” I asked tentatively.
“Oh, they don’t feed the baby. They rents those babies from mothers coz they earn more that way!” He was shouting now.
From Goa’s Haughty Hippies, by Claire